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phpPgAdmin Frequently Asked Questions
Installation errors
Q: I've installed phpPgAdmin but when I try to use it I get an error message
telling me that I have not compiled proper database support into my
PHP installation.
A: This means that you have not properly compiled Postgres support into
your PHP. The correct configure flag to use is '--with-pgsql'. Read the
PHP manual and website for more help with this.
Postgres support can be also compiled into PHP as a dynamic extension,
so if you have precompiled version (Linux RPM, or Windows binary), there
are still chances, that only thing you should do is to enable loading it
It can be done by editing your php.ini file (under Windows, usually in
C:\WINDOWS or C:\WINNT, under Linux /etc/php.ini) and uncommenting this
;extension=php_pgsql.dll ;under Windows
; ;under Linux
so it would look like that:
extension=php_pgsql.dll ;under Windows ;under Linux
In Linux distributions based on Red Hat or Fedora, PHP extensions are
automatically configured in /etc/php.d/pgsql.ini, simply install the
php-pgsql package.
See for more information
on setting up Postgres support in PHP.
Q: I get a warning like this when using phpPgAdmin on Windows:
"Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]:
open(/tmp\sess_5a401ef1e67fb7a176a95236116fe348, O_RDWR) failed"
A: You need to edit your PHP.INI file (usually in c:\windows) and change this
session.save_path = "/tmp"
session.save_path = "c:\windows\temp"
And make sure that the folder c:\windows\temp actually exists.
Login errors
Q: I always get "Login failed" even though I'm _sure_ I'm using the right
username and password.
A: There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to connect, typically
having nothing to do with phpPgAdmin itself. First check the Postgres log
on your server, it should contain a FATAL error message detailing the exact
reason why the login is failing. You will probably need to either adjust the
username or password, add LOGIN permissions to the role, or adjust your
pg_hba.conf file in your Postgres data dir; so follow the directions laid
out in the FATAL message.
If you do not have any FATAL error messages, and you have verified that you
are looking at the properly configured logfile, then this means you are not
connecting to your database. If you are connecting via TCP/IP sockets (for
example if you have installed phpPgAdmin on a different computer than your
database) make sure that Postgres is accepting connection over TCP/IP. On
older versions of Postgres, you need to change this line in your
postgresql.conf file:
#tcpip_socket = false
tcpip_socket = true
on newer versions of Postgres, this setting has been replaced by the
listen_addresses setting, so you will need to change that setting instead
(likely changing it to "*"). Be sure to restart Postgres after changing
either of these settings!
If that still doesn't get you connected, then there is likely something
interfering between PHP and Postgres. Check to make sure that you don't have
a firewall preventing connectivity, or that you don't have some other
security setup (ie. SELinux policy) that prevents PHP from connecting.
Q: For some users I get a "Login disallowed for security" message.
A: Logins via phpPgAdmin with no password or certain usernames (pgsql,
postgres, root, administrator) are denied by default. Before changing this
behaviour (setting $conf['extra_login_security'] to false in the file) please read the Postgres documentation about client
authentication and understand how to change Postgres's pg_hba.conf to
enable passworded local connections.
Q: I can use any password to log in!
A: Postgres, by default, runs in trust mode. That means that it doesn't
ask for passwords for local connections. We highly recommend that you
edit your pg_hba.conf file, and change the login type to 'md5'. Note
that if you change the 'local' login type to 'md5', then you might need
to enter a password to start Postgres. Get around this by using a
.pgpass file - explained in the Postgres documentation.
Other errors
Q: When I enter non-ASCII data into the database via a form, it's inserted
as hexadecimal or Ӓ format!
A: You have not created your database in the correct encoding. This problem
will occur when you try to enter an umlaut into an SQL_ASCII database, or
SJIS Japanese into an EUC-JP database, etc.
Q: When I drop and re-create a table with the same name, it fails.
A: You need to drop the sequence attached to the SERIAL column of the table
as well. Postgres 7.3 and above do this automatically. If you have
upgraded to Postgres 7.3 from an earlier version, you need to run the
contrib/adddepend script to record all dependencies.
Q: When browsing a table, the 'edit' and 'delete' links do not appear.
A: In order, phpPgAdmin will prefer the following as unique row identifiers:
1. Primary keys
2. Unique keys (cannot be parital or expressional indexes)
3. OID column (will require a sequential scan to update, unless you
index the OID column)
Furthermore, any NULL values in the unique index will mean that that row
will be uneditable. Also, since OIDs can become duplicated in a table,
phpPgAdmin will alter the row, and then check to ensure that exactly one
row has been modified - otherwise rollback will occur.
Questions on dumps
Q: What happened to the database dump feature?
A: You need to configure phpPgAdmin (in the file) to point
to the location of the pg_dump and pg_dumpall utilities on your web server.
Once you have done that, the database export feature will appear.
Q: I would like to use the pg_dump integration for database and table
dumps on Windows. How do I get pg_dump.exe on Windows?
A: To get the pg_dump utilities on Windows, you need to install Postgres 8.0
or higher (we recommend the latest release) for Windows, available for
download from the
<a href="">Postgres web site</a>.
Once you have installed that, set the pg_dump and pg_dumpall locations
in the file to
'C:\\Program Files\\Postgres\\8.0\\bin\\pg_dump.exe' and
'C:\\Program Files\\Postgres\\8.0\\bin\\pg_dumpall.exe', or wherever you
installed them.
Q: Why can't I reload the SQL script I dumped in the SQL window?
A: The following limitations currently exist in SQL script execution:
* Only uploaded SQL scripts can contain COPY commands and for
this to work, you must have PHP 4.2 or higher.
* 'psql' commands such as '\connect' will not work at all.
* Multiline SQL statements will not work, eg:
CREATE TABLE example (
* You cannot change the current database or current user during
the execution of the script.
We do intend to work on some of these limitations in the future, but
some of them are Postgres restrictions and we recommend using the
'psql' utility to restore your full SQL dumps.
Other questions
Q: When inserting a row, what does the 'Value' or 'Expression' box mean?
A: Choosing 'Expression' means that you can use functions, operators, other
field names, etc. in your value - you need to properly quote any literal
values yourself. 'Value' on the other hand, means that no matter what you
enter as the value, it will be inserted as-is into the database.
Q: Why is there never any information on the 'Info' page of a table?
A: The Info page will show you what other tables have foreign keys to the
current table and some data from the Postgres statistics collector.
In older versions of Postgres, the stats collector is not enabled by default.
To enable it, look in your postgresql.conf file for the stats_* options.
Just make them all 'true' and restart Postgres.
Q: Why can't I download data from queries executed in the SQL window?
A: You need to check the 'Paginate results' option to allow downloads.
Q: I would like to help out with the development of phpPgAdmin. How should I
A: We really would like your help! Please read the DEVELOPERS and TRANSLATORS
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